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Guyana boosts low-income access to quality housing with support from IDB loan

Guyana will improve low-income families' access to housing with the help of a $27.9 million loan approved Dec. 17 by the Inter-American Development Bank.

 

The funding will finance the government's Second Low Income Settlement Program, which is expected to benefit about 12,000 households, or 8% of the country's households.

 

Despite a population drop due to migration, the country of 760,000 people suffers a deficit of 19,400 homes for the low-income population. Demand for quality housing is also unmet, as an estimated 52,000 houses are over 30 years old and not properly maintained.

 

The First Low Income Settlement Program has been successful in accompanying a land divestiture process initiated in 1992. The program has benefited about 19,000 mostly low-income households over its 7 years of execution.

 

Pending challenges include improving the standards for the sites, equipped with basic services such as water, electricity, septic tanks and access to roads; introducing pilots for improved access to housing opportunities through a self-build process; and supporting specific housing demands, such as workforce housing for the occupations needed in every community, including teachers and nurses.

 

In order to address these concerns, the second program focuses on three areas:

  • Developing new sites with basic services, consolidating existing housing schemes, and upgrading squatter areas.

  • Implementing pilots to attend issues of affordability and sustainability.

  • Strengthening the Central Housing and Planning Authority.

 

The IDB loan consists of $13.95 from the Bank's ordinary capital for a 30-year term including a six year grace period at a variable interest rate, and $13.95 million from the Fund for Special Operations for a 40-year term and grace period, at 0.25% interest rate.

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